Sunday, November 13, 2011

Swiss Foreign Minister in cloud cuckoo land

We have noted how every tax haven / secrecy jurisdiction in the world denies what it is.

Sometimes, it gets laughable. Now, following welcome words from French President Nicolas Sarkozy after the G20 summit in Nice, who said Switzerland and ten other tax havens should be “excluded from the international community” for refusing to sign up to an automatic exchange of information agreement, we see this, from Swissinfo:
"The Swiss government has summoned the French ambassador to express its displeasure at French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s description of Switzerland as a tax haven. In an interview to be aired on French-speaking television on Sunday, Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey criticized Sarkozy’s statement at the conclusion of the recent G20 summit in which the French president listed Switzerland among 11 so-called tax havens."
The truth may hurt, Calmy-Rey - but it does not provide you with nearly as much as that suffered by ordinary French taxpayers feel who have to shoulder the taxes that French criminal élites are cheating on, using Swiss secrecy. But it's the next bit that is most laughable.
Sarkozy likely has “a problem with Switzerland”, she said, explaining that she did not know what this could be."
Message to Calmy-Rey: everyone in France knows what the problem is. Sarkozy spelled it out. Everyone in Switzerland knows what the problem is. And that includes you. (To be fair to Calmy-Rey, this isn't the first time that a Swiss official has spoken with a forked tongue on this issue. It happens all the time, in fact.)

So is Switzerland a tax haven? Hmm, let's consult our Financial Secrecy Index, to see where it's ranked. Ah yes, it's ranked at . . . . number one.

Now as usual, and in common with nearly every other tax haven in the world, Switzerland is reaching for the OECD's rather see-through fig leaf:
“We were very surprised and dissatisfied,” this year’s Swiss president said, explaining that there was no grounds for his remarks since Switzerland now adheres to standards on tax information exchange set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Everyone, but everyone knows that the OECD standards are a joke, and that automatic information exchange, the emerging global standard, is what Switzerland should be signing up for. If you want evidence, look here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here.

Or here, or here or here or here or here or here or here.

And there are plenty, plenty more where these came from - here.

Sigh.

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